German forces are completing their final training operation with local forces on Friday, as the nation prepares to withdraw from the country alongside NATO and the United States after nearly two decades.
The German Defense Ministry announced that training operations were ending on Friday, as the country readies the Mazar-i-Sharif camp for its departure later this year. The European country has already begun increasing security around the facility, reinforcing it with equipment to prepare it for potential attacks from Taliban forces once German troops are gone.
Having sent more than 100,000 soldiers to the Middle Eastern country throughout the last 20 years, Germany currently has about 1,100 members of its armed forces in Afghanistan, the second-largest presence of any nation, as well as hundreds of containers filled with equipment, from armored cars to munitions.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer confirmed in April that the nation would withdraw from Afghanistan following the Biden administration’s decision to set a deadline of September 11 for the complete removal of all US troops. “We have always said we are going in together, and we are going out together,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said.
The spokesperson for the German Defense Ministry, David Helmbold, told reporters on April 21 that the country was considering July 4 as a potential date for its withdrawal, pending an examination into the challenges and consequences of the move. This would be ahead of a previously floated date of mid-August.
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During Germany’s time in Afghanistan, 59 of the country’s soldiers died, the deadliest military intervention from the European nation since World War Two.
Alongside German forces in the region, there are around 10,000 soldiers from 36 NATO countries, which will start to be withdrawn from the organization’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan by May 1, aiming to have completed the drawdown within several months.
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